22 Jun 2016

Blackwater goals prove crucial

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Blackwater 4-4 Fethard 1-8

Two old adages, ‘goals win games’ and ‘a good start is half the work,’ proved to be very true on reflection of this year’s Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn C hurling final. Although Blackwater and Fethard fiercely contested this final over the hour, the creation of goals by the Blackwater team at key moments ensured that they largely remained in control throughout.

Huge thanks must go to Séamus Water who got his team off to a dream start in the opening minutes when he put 2-1 on the scoreboard to open up a significant early lead. Both goals were impressive in that he showed great strength and determination to shrug off several defenders when making room to shoot on goal. All over the field, Blackwater’s lightning quick roll lifts and snappy delivery of the ball seemed to cause Fethard huge problems early in play and it looked as if the sizable crowd were in for a one-sided game.

Fethard settled however and got the ball rolling with four Cillian Byrne scores as they slowly chipped away at the lead. Their defensive threesome of Eoin Whelan, Adam O’Grady and Conor McLoughlin did the dirty work at the back to ensure that the early flood of Blackwater scores reduced to a slow trickle. Blackwater would only score once more in the first half when full back Brian Óg Curran put over a mammoth free from his own half.

The first score of the second half came when Jake Molloy got a great score off the hurl in the opening play. This brought just three points between the teams and it looked as if Fethard were now in with a fighting chance. Blackwater had other ideas though and expressed their strong intention to drive on and win the game when Joseph Rossiter reacted quickest to a loose ball and goaled from close range. Fethard responded well and cancelled out this goal with three points in a row through the dynamic duo of Cillian Byrne and Jake Molloy.

Unfortunately, this hard work melted away once again when a defensive mix up saw the sliotar slip into the back of the Fethard net to gift Blackwater a six point lead. Thankfully, both goalie and defence redeemed themselves moments later when two great saves denied Blackwater further scores to put the game beyond reach.

A well taken 65 from Ollie Murphy almost helped settle Blackwater nerves, until Cillian Byrne rattled the Blackwater net with five minutes left on the clock. It was too little too late however and time wasted earlier in the half came back to haunt Fethard when the remaining minutes quickly ran out. The Blackwater defence and midfield, which were tremendous throughout the game, really rose to the occasion and held their composure for these final moments and ensured a memorable win for the Over the Water boys.

Blackwater: Adam Cullen, Eugene Clarke, Brian Óg Curran, Rian Sammon, James Whelan, Jay Mooney, Alan Malanowski, Ollie Murphy, Caolán Sammon, Ciarán Cash, Séamus Walsh, Joseph Rossiter, Ronan Malanowski, Aidan Malanowski, Ryan Byrne, Adam O’Connor, O.D Carroll, Jamie Lambert, Seán O’Brien, Nathan Moran, Tristan Cashe

Fethard: Rory Whelan, Eoin Whelan, Adam O’Grady, Conor McLoughlin, Ciaran Dunne, Bill Nunan, Cillian Byrne, Jake Molloy, Morgan Ellis, Seán Nunan, Cian Swan, Richard Lie, Kyle Bake, Robbie Molloy, Evan Fitzpatrick, Finn Brennan Pilkington, Lennon Foley, David Foley